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Several Agriculture Provisions Written by Pingree Included in Senate Farm Bill

A number of agriculture reforms to support local food and organic farming written by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and mirrored in Senate companion legislation, have been included in the Senate Farm Bill released today. 

“I applaud the Senate on showing what a bipartisan process for the Farm Bill can produce. I certainly wish the House had done the same. The Senate Farm Bill does a much better job supporting families and rural communities while helping farmers take advantage of the opportunities of the next five years,” Pingree said. “In particular, it makes important gains for local and organic farmers, an area where the House bill had fallen short. It includes streamlining local food programs, boosting organic research, reducing food waste and creating a produce prescription pilot program—all things I’ve pushed for with bipartisan and bicameral legislation. I hope to see this Farm Bill move forward and that the House will abandon its failed partisan legislation.”

To influence the 2018 reauthorization of the Farm Bill, Pingree wrote and introduced several bills in the House while working bicamerally to ensure companion legislation was introduced in Senate.

HR 3941, the Local FARMS Act (companion legislation introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Susan Collins of Maine): Senate bill includes provisions to consolidate existing USDA local food programs to create a one-stop hub for farmers and producers, and also establish a national produce prescription pilot.

HR 2436, Organic Agriculture Research Act, (companion legislation introduced by Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania): Senate bill doubles targeted funding for organic agriculture research projects.

HR 3444, the Food Recovery Act (companion bill introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut): Senate bill contains numerous steps to reduce the national amount of food waste. 

Pingree was a vocal opponent of the House’s version of the Farm Bill—which was not written with Democratic input or support. She spoke against the bill on the floor several times during debate before it ultimately was voted down last month. 

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